Friday, March 29, 2019

Poetry and Prose with Memoria Press (Video Review!)

I've posted another video review! 

This time around it is for Poetry & Prose Book 2: The Elizabethan and Neoclassical Set,

You can watch it here or click on over to Youtube. I've included all the links here as well. 

This one was a bugger to get together. Not the product was great. However, I technically difficulties out the wazoo. I had to start using a different editor and my computer is way to slow to handle it. So some of the clips are little wonky.

But...we got there in the end and hopefully it will be beneficial.

Here are the links I mention.

Memoria Press:

Poetry & Prose Book 2: The Elizabethan to the Neoclassical Age Set:

Read or Watch More Reviews!

Social Media Links for Memoria Press

Twitter:    Tag: @MemoriaPress    
Instagram:    Tag: @memoriapress    

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations[RT1] .

Thursday, March 28, 2019

My Favorite Scripture for Encouragment (plus printable cards!)

(Insert Big Sigh Here)

That's about the size of it. 

I've had the flu for the past week or so. Thankfully, I think I am on the way up. 

The flu is always nasty, but for those who have chronic conditions, it can be especially gnarly. It has been messing with my blood pressure. So this meant an extra couple of trips to the cardiologist's office and an increase in my medication. 

I've been trying to lay low. My trips out have been necessary. I needed some more reading material from the Library (don't judge) and The Muffin took me to Walmart so I could get some more of my favorite Prism colored pencils. 

All this laying low stuff requires supplies. I also seriously cut into my tea stash. Though my favorite hot drink this time around was a cup of my momma's Mexican Hot Cocoa Mix.  It came in my Christmas box. She made it with some sort of Mexican chocolate powder. It's spicy enough to clear out any sinus congestion, yet it's chocolate. Need I say more? 

The flu certainly rearranged my plans for the week. We had to postpone a Family Fun Fest at church. I had to cancel Ladies Bible Study here at the Parsonage. I also failed to get out a few projects that I had been working on. 

I meant to have this one out some time ago. 

I thought I would share my favorite Scriptures for encouragement. During Ladies Bible Study over coffee one Wednesday morning, we talked about how God's Word has carried us through the tough times. They talked about rising early and putting first things first. Digging into well-worn Bibles. The pages familiar and certain. 

We all had Scripture that had brought us through the storms. These were inspired Words that brought truth, and hope, and life. 

Mine is a simple list and most likely familiar.

Psalm 126:5
Psalm 30:11
Psalm 147:3
John 16:33
Psalm 46:1-3, 7
Psalm 16:8
Isaiah 41:10
Psalm 91:4
Isaiah 40:31
Isaiah 43:2
Luke 12:6-7

They are mostly from the Psalms. Probably because they sound like poetry and bring me encouragement. 

I like to have them written down around me. I carry them around with me. I use them as bookmarks and place them in strategic spots in my house. 

And because I am just a little extra, I like them to look pretty. So I created a couple of pages of cards to print out, cut, and enjoy. 

And I'm sharing them with you. 

Click on the links below. They will take you to my Google Drive. Print and enjoy. Just a note: They are labeled 3-5 to distinguish them for the last set of cards I made. You can find those here

Monday, March 25, 2019

Influenza Video

I have a new video up on Youtube!

I also have the flu. 😑


I decided while I was making a video review (coming soon) that I would talk a little about my sick stuff.

I'm tired of it.

But, anyhooo...

You can see it here.  I've also included a few links to a couple of blog posts that deal with the same kind of issues I talk about in the video. Some are old. Some are older. The message is the same.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation” (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

You might know that we are HUGE Drive Thru History® fans. In fact, when a particular package containing the brand new Drive Thru History®  “Acts to Revelation” series arrived on our doorstep a few of us did the happy dance. It's just that good. And a fun review!

So what is Drive Thru History®? It basically is high octane adventure television for the Christian history buff. Actually, you don't even need to particularly like history (or even a Christian) to benefit from and enjoy the adventure. They are intended to teach history and the events that shaped the Christian church. The recommended ages are 6th to adult, but some younger history fanatics will enjoy the show. 

Each episode is narrated by insanely talented and funny, Dave Stotts. My Josiah (now age 17) LOVES Mr. Dave Stotts. His autographed picture hung in a place of honor on our refrigerator for a few years. Before I move on with the review I want to share with you a brief little "shout out" video clip. I filmed a little bit of video actually talking about something else last week. I didn't wind up using the video...(for one, I looked like a linebacker and you could see straight up my nostrils) but I did edit a clip our brief exchange about Mr. Dave.  Don't's nothing "stalkerish." 

Now onto Drive Thru History®  “Acts to Revelation”. The series features 18 episodes. Each of those episodes is approximately 30 minutes long. So this gives you nine hours of content. That's a lot of history.

How We Used It

When I initially committed to this review, we were given the option of either doing a fast track review of just watching most of the videos through or a slower process of watching the videos and completing the accompanying Bible Studies.

My first impulse was to just do a Drive Thru History® binge. But then I saw the Bible Study content and knew that we needed to take it a bit slower and make our way through the New Testament (at least Acts to Revelation) along with Mr. Dave. 

The presentation of the product is excellent. The whole shebang comes in a beautifully constructed little book. 

 There are 3 DVD discs and the accompanying book all snuggled up together.

The pages are full color and glossy. It's like a fancy magazine...but without all the overly made-up models, perfume samples, recipes for Chicken Parm.

If you are a student of the Bible, you know the much of the New Testament talks about the creation of the Christian Church. You also know that stories of the men and women who were believers in that early church and who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ weren't easy ones.

In Episode Four, we are told about Paul's (then Saul) dramatic encounter on the road to Damascus...from an actual road to Damascus.

Given that Damascus is actually located in Syria, Mr. Dave took us as about as far as he a military base being run by the UN and a cafe located there. Kuddos, Mr. Dave to you. In one of the shots, there is a striking silhouette behind him of a soldier pointing his gun in Syria's direction.


In the Bible Study accompanying this Episode (as with every Episode) there is a summary.

A group of discussion questions (with answers included in the back of the book).

And a little more information called "Side Road." You can that the study is not so overwhelming. I found it to be the perfect accompaniment.

I have to talk a little about the video production itself. It is aesthetically gorgeous. There is a mixture of art, old photography, panoramic views, and current "on the scene" clips. 

This screenshot is from an archeological dig. 

Towards the end of the series, we are given a peek into the prison where Paul wrote his letters to the churches and where he later was beheaded. There is much history intertwining here. Did you know that Paul KNEW Nero? Yep. That Nero. The one who fiddled while Rome burned. Sometimes we forget how all of history is connected together. We tend to see people, rulers, and events as separate occasions.

This is the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, which is the traditional resting place of the Apostle Paul. We don't get to see this and hear about Paul's end until nearly the end of the series in Episode 15.

 There are obviously some hard scenes to watch in this series. The Early Church didn't worry about the color of carpet in the sanctuary, the hippest current preachers or how loud the music was. They were persecuted and many were killed for their beliefs.


This series isn't so deep and heavy all the time. Mr. Dave (or Cheesecake McJiggle Shorts in some circles) is a funny, funny guy. He is also passionate about what he does.

So we are fans. And I know you will be too.

This is one of those products that you need in your possession. I really mean it.

Go check it out.

For now, you can connect with Drive Thru History® via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews. 


Drive Thru History®
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, March 15, 2019

ARTistic Pursuits! Art of the Middle Ages (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. has been a favorite in our house for a number of years. In fact, I have had the privilege of reviewing many of their fantastic products. This time around, I got to review another great volume from K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 (spoiler alert…we checked out K-3 Vol. 3 Art of the Middle Ages).

Before I get into our experience with Vol. 3, I want to tell you about ARTistic Pursuits Inc.  Daniel and Brenda Ellis founded and developed ARTistic Pursuits back in 1999. They not only homeshooled their own children, but they are both dedicated and talented artists.  The program was developed with childhood development at its foundation. Each lesson, each project is developmentally appropriate.

The K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 include the following: 

·         Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, K-3 Vol. 1
·         Art of the Ancients, K-3 Vol. 2
·         Art of the Middle Ages, K-3 Vol. 3
·         Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance, K-3 Vol. 4
·         Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism, K-3 Vol. 5
·         Art of the Impressionists, K-3 Vol. 6
·         Art of the Modern Age, K-3 Vol. 7
·         Art in America, K-3 Vol. 8

K-3 Vol. 3 Art of the Middle Ages deals with the era from the early Migration Period to the Gothic architecture of France. Children are given a wide range of mediums to use, including colored paper, watercolor crayons, and textiles. 

There is a Blu-Ray and DVD included that contain 6 lessons. 12 additional lessons are included in the book. 

You can see that my book currently is only housing the Blu-Ray disc. The DVD is in my computer! 

The creators have made the book easy to follow and everything is laid out for optimal art instruction. 

The supply list is made up (mostly) of things you can easily find or have at home. However, there are a few things that you might need to do some searching for. Better yet, ARTistic Pursuits have organized a ready to send list for an online art supply company (with a coupon code!) just in case. I had most of what was needed in my art supplies (thanks to my artist momma), but I was overly optimistic about a few of my supplies. I'll talk more about that in a sec. 

The book also reads like a history lesson. It includes beautiful artwork and background information.

How We Used It

You might be wondering why the mother of an only teenage son is using an art curriculum intended for K-3. Oh, my friends. ARTistic Pursuits has done a super job of being not only developmentally appropriate but they also appeal to a wide range of age groups... regardless of the recommended age. I will say that there are a few products (such as the Sculpture books) that might not be as friendly to the Littles. However, I think you need to start where you are and what your needs are. 

Currently, my need is for an art book that highlights the art of the Middle Ages. We are presently studying this time period in I am (and was) thrilled to dig into it. ARTistic Pursuits recommends that one project be done a week for grades K-3. For grades 4-12, it is possible to do two projects a week. 

I am not quite sure what our pace was, but some weeks we only did one. 

I started my review process by completing one project all by myself. 

The Paper Loom Weave lesson is located on video. I LOVED having a visual demonstration. The videos all contained not only the visual lesson but a little historical background, as well. 

My crown isn't as polished as Mrs. Ellis'. But is sporting a few sparkly diamonds.

The finished projects and processes I am about to show you have no order. We decided to move around in the book a little bit so we could show you (and get a feel) of a variety of projects. 

This first project is a stained glass window using tissue paper. We read the lesson, looked up a few famous stained glass windows and made our own. 

This was a simple project with easy to find materials.

Our finished projects are supposed to be enjoyed with some light shining through.

However, we couldn't get a good picture unless they were laying flat.

 Here is a monogrammed design from Josiah. Not quite sure about the critter in the corner. 😆
 One of our favorite projects used tissue paper and watercolor crayons. Word to the wise. If you think you have watercolor crayons be sure to double check. I KNOW I have watercolor crayons somewhere, but couldn't find them when we did this project. We did this one over a couple of days so I decided I was just going to go to our local craft supply store and pick some up. They didn't have any. What I should have done was double check BEFORE we started the whole curriculum and used the coupon code provided for me.

They still turned out cute and were really fun to do.

Here is Josiah's guitar. I am not sure about the appropriateness for Middle Age history...but it looks cool.
 There was a lesson on mosaics. I was lucky and happened to have a whole bag of paper mosaic pieces in my art supplies. We started out initially by hand cutting a few interesting pieces of paper. The lessons recommends using a paper cutter so the pieces will be uniform. I second that recommendation. This project was supposed to tell a story of how the artist helped someone. Josiah has fond memories of helping his Papa in the garden at the farm over the summer. This is an ode to corn. Those of you who have worked in gardens in the summer will understand.
 This last project is incomplete. The white part is supposed to be covered with gold paint. Our gold paint was dried the project is waiting for another trip to the store. You can see where Josiah attempted to color in the gold. We weren't happy with the results so we will wait.
Of all the projects in the book, this is the one I wish we would have done before the review period was over. 

This is loom weaving with STRAWS. How fun is that! 

One of the GREAT things about ARTistic Pursuits is that the student learns real art techniques. These aren't simply cut and paste projects. I believe those have their place, but there is a purpose behind the art lessons. They not only teach history, but they also introduce students to methods artist use and have used all over the world for centuries. 

This is a product that you will need to be involved with your kiddos. There are also little handy tips for those of you who might be working with younger children. For example, in the mosaic project (which can be very time consuming) it is suggested that one-inch pieces are used for little ones. This obviously makes it easier for them to manage and will cut down on the frustration level. 

As I mentioned before, there are several books in this collection. I recently reviewed Volume 1. They make a wonderful addition to your history curriculum or can be used as a stand-alone art curriculum. 

I can't say enough good things about ARTistic Pursuits. They have produced and created terrific products time and time again. 

You can read about some of the other Volumes by clicking below. My Review Crew family has done some good work. You can also connect with ARTisitic Pursuits via the following social media outlets. 


Twitter: @ARTisticPursui1  
Instagram: @artisticpursuitsinc

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, March 9, 2019

8 Things to Add to Your Homeschool RIGHT NOW! (plus a video)

I have another video up on my channel. It's not perfect...I had to do a lot of editing because I keep saying "UMMMM." A lot. A whole lot. 

But I'm getting there. 

Here are a few corresponding links I mentioned in the video. 

Worthwhile Documentaries, Movies & Videos for the Homeschool Family:

They are links to previous blogposts that might give you some ideas. 

FREE History Bundle from Write Bonnie Rose (just for my blog readers)

Hello, sweet ones!!!

I have a very special treat for you. You know how much I LOVE history. And you know how much I LOVE free stuff. Well...stay tuned because I have a treat for you. 

My friend (and wonderful editor), Bonnie Rose, creates beautiful and rich content for homeschoolers on her site, Write Bonnie Rose.  I reviewed a couple of science resources from her collection last year. Not only are her products affordable, but she also has a large number of downloads that are free. 

Bonnie Rose has a heart for the homeschool family and she is super talented. She has been doing some remodeling of her site and in celebration of the relaunch, she has a great coupon code available for all. 

She also has something special just for us  (all of you lovelies). She has gathered a bundle of history titles to share with the readers of my blog. There are four titles in all. 

They all come from Bonnie's wonderful collection of American History resources. There is a little something for every age group. And they are all FREE!!!!

All you need to do is click on any of the links in this blog (including the banner below) and enter the coupon code AmericanHistoryExclusive. 

This coupon code will be good until March 31. 

Poke around while you are at Write Bonnie Rose. There is some great stuff there. And sign up for her subscriber freebies. 


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Victus Study Skills System Review! And a Video!!!

Topic at hand: My Review for the Victus Study Skills System.

Victus Skills Study System:

Product Links: (I used Level 3)

My review season is jumpin' now! Several products are now being passed around the house for review. The biggest change this year is that I am now recording videos for several of them.

Yes, I am! Guurrll. If you thought I was dangerous behind a computer screen....

Anyhoo...the very first video review I have ever, ever done is now in the books. It is for Victus Study Skills System (try and say that 5 times fast). 

Funny story. I actually filmed this video TWICE. The first time I filmed on a Saturday and had spent hours editing (in between church stuff and home life). The Muffin took one look at the screen and noticed I had a huge dark mark above my left eye. It looked like I had been knocked out. It was most likely eye make-up that had traveled via my eyebrows.

And how many hours had I been staring at myself on camera?  I can tell I hadn't even noticed. Then, of course, I couldn't stop staring at the huge dark mark. And figured that would be the first thing everyone would notice...not the great product I'm reviewing.

So....I filmed it again. And you are going to see the finished result below. Tell me what you think! I realize I am probably far too chatty for quick reviews. I need to tell almost everything I know.

Here are all the links you need in life. Or you can click through to Youtube and find them there.

Victus Skills Study System:

Product Links: (I used Level 3)

My previous review of Victus:

Connect with Victus Study Skills System:

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Easy, Cozy Rice Pudding (and a video!)

I just posted a video for Rice Pudding on Youtube!

I "videoed" me making said rice pudding and then waited to film the finished product.

Then (of course) I was my usual "frippy" self and didn't take the video...of the finished product.

Instead, I found a free stock photo of rice pudding.


Oh well....I also forgot to add the vanilla in when I filmed. It's always something.

Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy.

3 large eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Beat the eggs and sugar together. Slowly pour in the milk and cream and mix well.  Add the vanilla and spices. Stir in the rice and raisins.

Pour the mixture into a prepared (greased) dish.  Bake for around 40-45 minutes until set.  Eat hot or cold. 

Watch the video! 

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